Airtel Africa has joined the mobile banking fray as it announced the start of business for its Nigerian payment service bank unit SmartCash PSB.

Airtel Africa revealed in a stock market statement that subsidiary SmartCash Payment Service Bank has started providing services through selected retail outlets with plans to expand across Nigeria in the coming months.

RELATED: MTN’s MoMo Payment Service Bank formally begins operations

Payment Service Banks (PSBs) are licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to among other mobile banking services, accept deposits and allow their customers to also operate savings accounts. PSBs’ customers include individuals and small businesses. PSBs are also allowed to facilitate cross border remittances using all the channels available within Nigeria.

SmartCash revolutioning financial services landscape

“This is the beginning of our journey to revolutionise the financial services landscape in the country. The millions of Nigerians who do not currently have access to financial services by delivering current and savings accounts, payment and remittance services, debit and prepayment cards and more sophisticated services,” said Airtel Africa CEO Segun Ogunsanya.

MTN Nigeria announced this week the start of its own Momo PSB to widen the competition for Nigeria’s unbanked segment where Etisalat with 9PSB and Money Master PSB by Globacom could effectively rework Nigeria’s banking landscape. Telcos have a combined subscribers base in excess of 184 million –  a strong value that could easily tilt the mobile money market in their favour.

IMAGE: Business Insider Africa


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